Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign a bill that would create a private college scholarship fund for the children of undocumented immigrants.
Illinois is on the verge of becoming the first state to create a private college scholarship fund for the children of undocumented immigrants.
The Illinois House, which on Thursday passed a state version of the DREAM Act by a 61-53 vote, sent a bill to Gov. Pat Quinn that would set up a state fund that would route privately funded college scholarships to as many as 95,000 children of undocumented immigrants.
The children would be able to obtain private college scholarships and enroll in state savings programs.
Supporters praised the legislation as a much-needed way to offer financial help to undocumented immigrants who graduate from Illinois high schools and want to continue their studies in college but can’t afford it.
The Illinois Dream Act would create a panel to raise private money for college scholarships and let the children of immigrants join programs that help them invest money and save for college.
To qualify for the college savings pool, students must have a Social Security number or taxpayer identification number. Scholarship recipients must have at least one immigrant parent and the student must have attended school in Illinois for at least three years.
Opponents have criticized the legislation as improper because it provides benefits that could help people who violate immigration laws. They also have complained it’s confusing because of proposed federal legislation by the same name that would give some illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.